After watching the series it is fun to see the information in print.
Just about everything you ever wanted to know about the English Language is in this book. There are newer and older references but none so complete and at the same time readable. This book covers history, usage, almost usage and possible futures of the language.
One of my favorite antidotes was the one about how the Advisory Committee on Spoken English (ACSE) discussed the word "canine":
"Shaw brought up the word 'canine', and he wanted the recommendation to be 'cay-nine'... And somebody said 'Mr. Shaw, Mr. Chairman, I don't know why you bring this up, of course it's 'ca-nine'. Shaw said, 'I always pronounce things the way they are pronounced by people who use the word professionally every day.' And he said, 'My dentist always says (cay-nine)'. And somebody said, 'Well, in that case, Mr. Chairman, you must have an American dentist.' And he said, 'Of course, why do you think at 76 I have all my teeth!'"
After reading about how English came about, the next book to read would be "Divided by a Common Language" by Christopher Davies, Jason Murphy